In My Time of Dying: How I Came Face to Face with the Idea of an Afterlife (Hardcover)

In My Time of Dying: How I Came Face to Face with the Idea of an Afterlife By Sebastian Junger Cover Image
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(Death & dying)


A near-fatal health emergency leads to this powerful reflection on death—and what might follow—by the bestselling author of Tribe and The Perfect Storm.

For years as an award-winning war reporter, Sebastian Junger traveled to many front lines and frequently put his life at risk. And yet the closest he ever came to death was the summer of 2020 while spending a quiet afternoon at the New England home he shared with his wife and two young children. Crippled by abdominal pain, Junger was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Once there, he began slipping away. As blackness encroached, he was visited by his dead father, inviting Junger to join him. “It’s okay,” his father said. “There’s nothing to be scared of. I’ll take care of you.” That was the last thing Junger remembered until he came to the next day when he was told he had suffered a ruptured aneurysm that he should not have survived.

This experience spurred Junger—a confirmed atheist raised by his physicist father to respect the empirical—to undertake a scientific, philosophical, and deeply personal examination of mortality and what happens after we die. How do we begin to process the brutal fact that any of us might perish unexpectedly on what begins as an ordinary day? How do we grapple with phenomena that science may be unable to explain? And what happens to a person, emotionally and spiritually, when forced to reckon with such existential questions?

In My Time of Dying is part medical drama, part searing autobiography, and part rational inquiry into the ultimate unknowable mystery.

About the Author

Sebastian Junger is the New York Times bestselling author of TribeWar, Freedom, A Death in Belmont, Fire, and The Perfect Storm, and codirector of the documentary film Restrepo, which was nominated for an Academy Award. He is also the winner of a Peabody Award and the National Magazine Award for Reporting.

Praise For…

“Let me start this way: I believe that Sebastian Junger is one of the finest writers of our generation. In My Time of Dying is a stunning book about life, about death, about the afterlife. These are subjects all of us should want to spend days, months, years thinking about. But we don’t do that. Why? Probably because the subject overwhelms most of us. And maybe because the human condition scares the hell out of all of us. Well, Sebastian Junger has just done the hard work for us. In My Time of Dying examines the often subtle connections between life, death, and the after-life. Junger has clearly obsessed about his subject. The result is a powerful book that comes as close as anything I’ve read in explaining what it means to be human.”
—James Patterson

“Sebastian Junger is known for standing on the front lines in places that scare the hell out of the rest of us. Nowhere is that truer than in In My Time of Dying, where he turns inward to examine his own mortality, the most frightening—yet fascinating—frontier there is.” 
—Caitlin Doughty, New York Times bestselling author of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory

“Sebastian Junger, a virtuoso of narrative nonfiction, has conjured his most personal and yet universal book, a stunning account I didn’t so much read as inhale, awed and riveted and forever changed.” 
—Michael Finkel, New York Times bestselling author of The Art Thief

"In books like The Perfect Storm and War, Sebastian Junger transported readers to perilous worlds most would never actually visit for themselves. Now, with this tour de force, Junger takes his readers on a more personal journey and to a far more ordinary place—a place where, at one moment, we might be clearing brush at a country cabin and spending a quiet moment with our partner and, at the next, bleeding to death in the back of an ambulance from an invisible wound. Having come within mere minutes of not surviving a ruptured pancreatic artery, Junger has returned to masterfully braid together a discussion of family, near-death experiences, quantum physics, and the miracle of modern medicine. With this soon-to-be classic, Junger has crafted an ode to the magical healing power of love and the wonder of life.” 
—David R. Dow, National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and author of Things I’ve Learned from Dying: A Book About Life

In My Time of Dying is written by one of our greatest reporters, who found himself at the brink of death and came back with the story of his life—and ours. Combining elements of a heart-pounding medical thriller with brilliantly clear science-writing, Sebastian Junger has written a tour-de-force about the biggest mystery we all face. With stories from war, medicine, history, and everyday life woven throughout, this is an instant classic that filled me with wonder, gratitude, and awe. It belongs in the company of Atul Guwande’s Being Mortal and Sherwin Nuland’s How We Die, but goes one step further, helping us imagine what if anything might await us on the other side of the great divide.”
—Will Schwalbe, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Your Life Book Club

“A riveting and resonant meditation on some of life’s biggest questions.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Product Details
ISBN: 9781668050835
ISBN-10: 1668050838
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 21st, 2024
Pages: 176
Language: English